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Saturday, February 17, 2007

An orange teabreak

the tea: redbush tea
the book: the Kraken Wakes by John Wyndham
the cake: butternut squash cake
the knitting: very plain sock in Lana Grossa self-striping sock yarn

I wanted to bake something for the ball winding party at Katie's this afternoon and thought I'd try a butternut squash cake after trying a piece of one in the canteen at work (I know, I'm very lucky to work in a place with such an exciting range in cakes). I had a quick look on the web and although most of the recipes were American (and so measured in cups and sticks) I could see that you needed an equal quantity of flour and squash and some sort of vegetable oil rather than butter. Anyway, I used the quantities given in the recipe for Flora's Famous Courgette Cake in Nigella Lawson's Domestic Goddess as a guide.

butternut squash cake recipe

preheat the oven to 180 deg. C (adjust for fan) and line a decent sized tin with baking parchment (mine was 10 x 10 inches square).

250g butternut squash (uncooked weight) diced into 2cm cubes
150g caster sugar
2 large eggs
125ml sunflower (or other vegetable) oil
225g self-raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
60 chopped walnuts

steam or boil the squash until tender then mash until smooth, leave to cool.
mix together the sugar, eggs and oil, then mix in the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and spices.
mix in the squash puree and the chopped walnuts and spoon the mixture into the prepared tin.
bake for 30 mins until golden and a sharp knife or skewer put into the middle of the cake comes out clean.

I actually forgot to put in the spices (due to trying to make a beef casserole at the same time - it could have been worse) and it was perfectly nice. Next time I'll add them in for a little extra bite.

After all that, I'm sitting down for 5 mins before heading out to Katie's with my yarn to wind and swap, patterns to share and knitting to knit. I'm taking Rowan 40, a ball of navy Kid Classic and my new 3.5mm Brittanys so that I can cast on the Anya jumper in a supportive environment. I'm also taking the very plain sock in case I need to hold up my end in a conversation.

Finished object - Falling in Love socks (mini)

Finished at the weekend, just in time for Valentine's day. You can't see the pattern in the photo (partly due to the fuzzy alpaca). I might try to scope out some inexpensive plain sock yarn on the way to Katie's this afternoon in order to knit a full length pair in a yarn which shows off the hearts a bit better.

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